ARACELI PALAFOX WRITES – With control over the nine television stations in the country, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) continues to be the head puppet master of Cambodia.
Its success in the July election reminded the people of Cambodia who’s hands pull the strings. Yet, this same election came with heated tension, bringing to light Cambodia’s flawed electoral system.
However, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party has pulled enough strings to allow its opposition party, the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), to have a voice by launching an online television station called CNRP TV on the CPP’s website. This past November, the CPP announced the station’s launch, stating its purpose was to give the CNRP a greater voice in national politics. CNRP TV aims to follow dialogues and agreements between both parties without promoting either.
Whether this was intended to boost the CNRP’s confidence or merely give the CPP another thing to control remains questionable. How much room could the opposition have to speak out under the hands of the ruling government? From the outside it looks like an attempt to reduce any potential uprising from those opposing the CPP. In theory, CNRP TV could potentially bolster democracy in Cambodia. Though, in practice it’s not very convincing. If it wanted to truly balance political coverage, it should’ve given CNRP a license to televise independently instead of putting CNRP under its wing.
In recent news, non-governmental organizations have revealed election fraud on behalf of the CPP. Among the many non-governmental organizations is the Cambodia Center for Independent Media which has been an active body in various protests. After threatening with a reelection, the CNRP has also added to this fight by demanding the truth from Prime Minister, Hun Sen, and his government. The results of the investigations show missing and duplicate names on voting ballots as well as a biased campaign for Prime Minister Sen. Until further action, the CNRP will continue to boycott parliament and demand a reelection.
A plotted protest for December 15 predicts an overwhelmingly large turnout from those who share the opposition’s view.